Homeland Security Democrats urge Zuckerberg to act on 'dangerous' Trump posts

Homeland Security Democrats urge Zuckerberg to act on 'dangerous' Trump posts
© Greg Nash

The Democratic members of the House Homeland Security committee sent a letter to Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergWe haven't seen how low it can go Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Facebook considering ban on political ads: reports MORE Wednesday urging him to take action against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE's Facebook posts.

The lawmakers pointed to posts in the last few weeks where the president suggested without evidence that "Morning Joe" co-host Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low Cheney clashes with Trump Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record MORE was involved in the death of one of his former congressional staffers and one where he said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" about anti-police brutality protests following the killing of George Floyd.

Zuckerberg has been under intense internal and external pressure on the second post, which the Facebook CEO chose to leave untouched, despite it soliciting responses from Twitter and Snapchat.


Facebook employees have staged digital walk outs in protest, and civil rights leaders have criticized Zuckerberg's unwillingness to budge. 

“[I]n recent weeks, you have had the opportunity to receive informed, experienced advice of civil rights leaders and had the ear of the President, but you have failed to take responsibility to use your privilege to stand up for the people the President targets with his violent rhetoric,” the Democratic lawmakers, led by Homeland Security Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonState legislatures consider US Capitol's Confederate statues House eyes votes to remove symbols of Confederates from Capitol House to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling MORE (D-Miss.), wrote.

The members pointed out that Twitter has taken steps to limit the spread of Trump's post suggesting protesters by shot, while Snapchat announced it would no longer promote the president's account.

The letter asks for clarification of Facebook's policies on posts from world leaders, any plans to change its content policies in response to an executive order Trump signed targeting social media platforms and whether there has been any "disinformation activity" related to the president's posts.

“There is a difference between being a platform that facilitates public discourse and one that peddles incendiary, race-baiting innuendo guised as political speech for profit," the lawmakers concluded. "Last week, your employees walked out to stand up against racism and in support of truth. You should decide which side you are on.”